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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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291 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK--even though they sent the wrong kit for my OBS, the folks at GrimmSpeed are still cool because they rushed out the correct kit to me and I got it this afternoon. After a busy afternoon/evening, I finally got around to the install around 8:45. It isn't a hard install, but not exactly simple either. I guess the "proper" method of install would be to completely lift the IM off the engine, but I just removed the bolts and some other tidbits so I could lift it enough to slide those spacers under there.

Here is what the correct kit for my 99 OBS EJ22 looks like:



Everything looked like it was of good quality.


OK--things I removed for access: the intake unit up to the torque box, overflow canister, spark plug wires, wire loom L side, pwr steer lines from pump, bolts that hold torque box in place, vaccum hoses to torque box, IM bolts, and that's all I can think of for now.


Unbolting the overflow canister and pushing it down (tight fit) was needed in order for me to slide the spacer under the IM runners from the front of the engine, as it's pretty impossible to do from the L side of the engine. The L side doesn't lift nearly as high as the R, so it is a little tighter space to work with.



I went ahead and dropped the plug wires all the way down so they'd be completely out of the way. Here's a shot of what things looked like when I was ready to lift the IM:




Now, I removed the pwr steer lines from the pump because I thought I needed to in order to achieve the needed lift, but afterward I thought it'd been ok, and easier, to just remove the line holders that mount to the IM runner. That's one of those things where an instruction sheet would have been useful.



I removed this wire loom off the L side of the engine. Looked like it needed to go for me to access the IM bolts more easily. Took like a minute, so do it:




Next, when I test fitted the gaskets to the heads, it was not a smooth fit of the one guide hole over the little stud thing that it fits over to aide in gasket positioning. So, I used a screwdriver that was just a smidgen bigger than the hole and bored it out some more. It fit fine then.



Now, here's where I got a little aggrivated. On both sides of the engine, the spacer bumped against parts of the cooling system where that guide hole is (firewall side on L side and radiator side on the R side.) Maybe it would go on there if the entire IM were completely taken off, but I could not get it on there at all using my slide under method. Almost there, but it was just rubbing against it too much to edge on. Both sides. So, I took a hacksaw and trimmed off that edge of each spacer. Problem fixed. I'd imagine I'm not the only one with clearance issues there, so I'd suggest to GrimmSpeed that they consider shaving that particular corner on future productions of this kit. Install would have been a major PITA had I not shaved them.





Well, I got them under there and everything bolted back up just fine. You do need some finger finesse to get the two inner bolts in their holes on the L side of the IM. I will have to find out how much I'm supposed to torque down the IM bolts. That's something else that would have been handy to have on an instruction sheet. I guess that was my only true complaint about the kit is that it came with zero instructions. Granted, it's not brain surgery, but a simple tip sheet would be super easy to make and stuff in the envelope. For example, the TB spacer has a piece I have no idea what it's for. When I get to that part, I'll probably figure it out, but it should have had a very simple instruction sheet included. I had to split this into two different days because of the wrong kit deal, but I suppose start to finish I had 2 hrs invested, including a quick cleanup and test drive down the road and snapping photos. Anywho, I'll be driving it around town tomorrow, so after getting home from work, I'll grab those intake runners and see how badly my hand gets burned. :stafiseiz Gonna do the TB spacer on Friday probably.
 

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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Did the feeler test after I got home today. Still pretty stinking hot to the touch, but I guess the IM was not as "holy sh*t that hurts" hot. I shoulda measured the exterior runner temp before and then after. Oh well.

The car drives just fine--nothing funny that I have noticed so far. I always get nervous tearing apart an engine that already works just fine. We;ll see if this makes a slight difference in mpg. Plan to do the TB spacer tomorrow.
 

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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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291 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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2002 Forester
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464 Posts
I just wiggled mine a little, and it did eventually tuck under. For ease, anyone who wants them to plop on a little easier can just zip off a little bit of the corner. Mine oh so barely fit.

My comments from the install and run:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1586176
I may have actual dyno numbers in the coming weeks to add to this.
 

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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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291 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I put the Group A TB spacer on this morning. This is a pretty straightforward install. It took me a little while, but that's because I did some cleaning and painted a couple brackets while I had things torn down in the engine bay. No need for me to cover the steps, as the Group A web site has a nice how-to page w/ photos already. Here's the spacer on my TB:



And, I wiped down a lot of stuff that had gotten pretty dusty in the engine bay, so it was good to clean things up a bit.



So, what did I think about the TB spacer? Honestly, not much. I thought the TB spacers were supposed to help out the low end, but if I could notice anything, it's that my car was more sluggish from a dead stop until it hit about 3000rpm. 1000-3000rpm was pretty bland, even somewhat moreso than before the TB spacer, it felt like. So, I may have paid money to make worse what I was trying to make improve. Bottem end is what I was wanting. 3000-5000rpm seems to be the sweet spot, but maybe it just feels like that because sub3000 isn't much. I dunno. If my mpg does not increas a tad, this whole kit was a waste of money, IMHO. I probably would have been better off to put that $175 into a catback system. For noting noticable, I wish I hadn't bought this kit, as it wasn't just a toss-out of spare cash I had to waste. My car actually had one weird spell today after the TB spacer install, so I might see if I can return it if things don't go smoothly the next few days. I'm supposed to autocross tomorrow. It's a road trip to the race, so I'll track my mpg on the return trip and see if there are any gains. If not, I'm gonna feel taken. Put a big "SUCKER" decal on the top of my windshield. The IM spacers didn't have any negative effect on my engine whatsoever, but if there's no real change from them, it's hard to justify an $80 price for two die cut spacers.
 

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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK--someone suggested that I reset the ECU. Just finished that. I'll drive it tomorrow and see how things go...
 

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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
OK--the TB spacer has done nothing but cause problems so far. I skipped an autocross today because of the issue. When cold, the car wants to die when put in D. (Not R however.) Throwing off the MAF??? IDK. No codes. Did a reset. Checked everything again as far as hoses/plugs. If it were a vaccum issue, the car would misbehave all the time, correct? Any feedback/suggestions is appreciated.
 

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2000, Impreza, 2.5 RS,
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139 Posts
Wow, very valuable information. I was going to buy a TB spacer next but you might have just changed my mind. Keep us posted please!
 

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1999, OBS, Green, EJ22
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, very valuable information. I was going to buy a TB spacer next but you might have just changed my mind. Keep us posted please!

Well, people said this was simple install. Well, the actual bolt on was very easy, but this has been a huge headache. At this point, I just hope when I take it off, my engine goes back to normal. If some sensor has been fried and needs replaced after this, I'm gonna be pissed. I'm going to call Group A tomorrow and see what they suggest. I hope the folks at GrimmSpeed will refund this thing if I don't resolve the issue.

I have read posts by others who bolted this thing on, and off they went and were all grins about it. My car is a 99 phase II EJ22--maybe certain applications react differently than others. Maybe it's a MAF v/s MAP issue or something--I have no idea. At this point I'm wishing I'd have just taken my cash for this kit and had my windows tinted!!!

I'm going out for a drive...might be in the garage later on...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
OK--I thought I was going for a drive. The car was running so crappy I turned around and came home. Bogging and hesitating like crazy as I tried to drive down the lane at 35 mph. The RPM kept bouncing back and forth between 1000 and 3000. I said "screw it", drove back home, and took the damn thing off. Car runs perfectly smooth again. Waste of time and money. And, best of all, I missed an autocross today I was hoping to run my "new" engine in. I'm just glad that my little green OBS is back and unharmed. I was paranoid something would be royally screwed up, but so far my test drive went OK. Getting ready to go out for a real drive now.

Deathsythe, some people say they put the TB spacer on and it works fine and they feel a difference. If you have a phase II EJ22, I wouldn't bother. If you have something different, ask the retailer about their return policy. I hope GrimmSpeed will refund this TB spacer I got from them, as it was part of a kit. Now, the IM spacers were not a simple bolt on, but they caused no issues whatsoever with my engine. I don't know if they will realistically DO anything for me, but in theory they make sense. You might want to consider just them, but my personal recommendation is that the TB spacer was a headache I didn't need. A simple machined chunk of 6061 alum shouldn't require that much troubleshooting. Surely I am not alone in having this problem...
 

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2000, Impreza, 2.5 RS,
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139 Posts
OK, so I got my IM spacer in the mail yesterday and installed it for my 2.5 rs. I can tell you that the installation was not fun. It probably would have been easier just taking off the whole IM. Other than that though I have nothing but good things to say about the spacer. I drove my car on the highway today for 45 mins on my way to work and had no problems. The IM was completely cool to the touch when I arrived at work. Throttle response was a tiny bit more crisp and car seemed a little easier to rev. Previous mods effecting my results; Injen CAI.
 

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95 GC 371hp/355tq ej25 1.5xtr
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It probably would have been easier just taking off the whole IM.
when i installed mine, i took the IM off. i didnt want to just "slide" in the new spacers/gaskets because i didnt want to push the dirt and stuff down into the head. but im anal about stuff like that.

just be careful if you have a dirty engine bay
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
when i installed mine, i took the IM off. i didnt want to just "slide" in the new spacers/gaskets because i didnt want to push the dirt and stuff down into the head. but im anal about stuff like that.

just be careful if you have a dirty engine bay

I took the air compressor hose to my engine to blow away anything stray. My engine was realtively clean to begin with--nothing gunky on top.


Yeah--I'm glad I got the IM spacers. My IM is still hot to the touch, though. It's not as hot, but still hot. When people say it's cool to the touch, do they literally mean cool or just not scorching hot?

Deathsythe, did you get the TB spacer as well?
 

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No, I haven't gotten a TB spacer yet, just the IM spacer. I was waiting to see what people thought of it before I spent the $. With my CAI, I lost a lil low end torque and got a tiny bit of a flat spot. I assumed that was because of the long tubing for the CAI. Because of that, I can't understand why making that space a little longer will help. But there are lots of things I don't understand, so If people say they get real improvements, then I'll get one. In regards to my IM temp, I actually meant that it was cool. It was cool enough to put my face on even. Ambient temp was 60F when I drove to work today and I was on the highway for like 35 mins straight. Next I'll test temp in stop/go situation where the engine has time to sit and get hot.
 

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95 GC 371hp/355tq ej25 1.5xtr
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My IM is still hot to the touch, though. It's not as hot, but still hot. When people say it's cool to the touch, do they literally mean cool or just not scorching hot?
i think it depends on the driving. sometimes hot and others cool.

did you do the TB coolant bypass too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
i think it depends on the driving. sometimes hot and others cool.

did you do the TB coolant bypass too?

No, I didn't. Wouldn't that affect the engine in the winter time?



With the logic behind bypassing the flow of warm/hot fluid through the TB, would it make an even bigger difference if cool fluid circulated through the TB? If lowering the air temp coming into the engine makes such a difference, why doesn't the IM and TB itself have heat sinks that have a liquid cooled system? If an aluminum IM were lined with plastic runners as the core, would that lower internal temp? I'm just thinking out loud with hypothetical what-ifs... I have no idea--have people experimented with novel ways of making the IM significantly colder, or does it not have that much of an impact after a reasonable temp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
In regards to my IM temp, I actually meant that it was cool. It was cool enough to put my face on even. Ambient temp was 60F when I drove to work today and I was on the highway for like 35 mins straight. Next I'll test temp in stop/go situation where the engine has time to sit and get hot.

Yeah--mine still gets hot. Not blister your skin if you grab it hot, but enough to where it hurts if you touch it for more than a couple seconds.
 
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